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Category: Biomedical Engineering

Army Ants march to FIRST Robotics Championship event

The Army Ants recently qualified for the FIRST Championship in April in Houston by finishing in the semifinals of the Rocket City Regional in Huntsville, Ala. Photo courtesy of Kevin Gillis. The Army Ants FIRST Robotics team has been busy collecting awards and accolades at competitions, and they’ll try to claim the biggest of all next month. The team recently qualified for the FIRST Championship in April in Houston by finishing in the semifinals of the Rocket City Regional in…

Researchers engineer a protein micelle that can be visualized by MRI as it delivers hemotherapeutics — ScienceDaily

A team of researchers from New York University has engineered nanoscale protein micelles capable of both delivering chemotherapeutic drugs and of being tracked by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The innovation falls into the category of “theranostics,” meaning that it combines diagnostic capability and drug delivery, allowing researchers to administer therapy while also non-invasively monitoring the therapeutic progress and drastically reducing the need for surgical intervention. The team is led by NYU Tandon School of Engineering Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular…

Blood flow restriction therapy may protect against bone loss following ACL reconstruction — ScienceDaily

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction patients often face bone and muscle loss immediately following the procedure. Researchers presenting their work today at the AOSSM/AANA Specialty Day note that combining blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy with traditional rehabilitation efforts may slow bone loss and reduce return to function time. “Providing BFR as part of the rehabilitation efforts following ACL surgery, appears to help preserve the bone, recover muscle loss and improve function quicker, according to our research,” said lead author, Bradley…

Horseshoe crabs are really relatives of spiders, scorpions — ScienceDaily

Blue-blooded and armored with 10 spindly legs, horseshoe crabs have perhaps always seemed a bit out of place. First thought to be closely related to crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans, in 1881 evolutionary biologist E. Ray Lankester placed them solidly in a group more similar to spiders and scorpions. Horseshoe crabs have since been thought to be ancestors of the arachnids, but molecular sequence data have always been sparse enough to cast doubt. University of Wisconsin-Madison evolutionary biologists Jesús Ballesteros…

Individuals with visual impairment can ‘see’ through device that turns digital images into physical sensations

HaptImage LLC has developed a novel haptic device that converts digital graphics into real-time physical sensations. Here, inventor Ting Zhang works with a HaptImage prototype to explore the blood smear pictured on screen. Credit: Purdue Research Foundation image/Oren Darling David Schwarte, an assistive technology specialist on the Innovative Learning Team at Purdue University, knows what it is like to learn in a classroom when challenged with a visual impairment. Schwarte, who has a visual impairment, says it is nearly impossible…

Engineering Ethics Blog: Biotech in Agriculture: Blessing or Curse?

For personal reasons, I pay more attention than I might otherwise to doings in Omaha, Nebraska (a niece of mine lives there).  As I write this, they’re enduring a blizzard with up to 50-MPH winds, temperatures near zero, and up to a foot of snow coming down.  Most of them, that is.  The governor, on the other hand, a Republican named Pete Ricketts, is at the Agricultural Outlook Forum outside Washington, DC participating in a panel discussion of biotechnology in…

Biomedical engineers develop wearable respiration monitor with children’s toy

The paired sensors — one placed between the ninth and 10th ribs and the other on the abdomen — track the rate and volume of the wearer’s respiration by measuring the local strain on the application areas. Credit: Josh Kim / UCI Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a wearable, disposable respiration monitor that provides high-fidelity readings on a continuous basis. It’s designed to help children with asthma and cystic fibrosis and others with chronic pulmonary conditions.…

New wheelchair design—a hand gear for better ergonomics

The new wheelchair, developed at TU Wien. Credit: Vienna University of Technology Using biomedical modelling, researchers at TU Wien have developed a completely new type of wheelchair. Specially designed handles make the drive more efficient and ergonomic. Anyone who thinks that a wheelchair is a simple piece of equipment with no room for improvement is sorely mistaken. The research team for biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering at TU Wien (Vienna) has now developed a completely new drive system. The wheelchair is…

Advances in stretchable semiconductors, integrated electronics — ScienceDaily

Researchers from the University of Houston have reported significant advances in stretchable electronics, moving the field closer to commercialization. In a paper published Friday, Feb. 1, in Science Advances, they outlined advances in creating stretchable rubbery semiconductors, including rubbery integrated electronics, logic circuits and arrayed sensory skins fully based on rubber materials. Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston and corresponding author on the paper, said the work could lead to important…

People with sleep apnea struggle to remember details of memories from their own lives, putting them at risk of depression — ScienceDaily

People with sleep apnea struggle to remember details of memories from their own lives, potentially making them vulnerable to depression, new research has shown. Estimated to affect more than 936 million people worldwide, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with OSA are known to suffer memory problems and also have higher rates of depression but it is not well understood how these issues are connected with the…